Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Kalamazoo MI

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Kalamazoo 49001

Kalamazoo MI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Kalamazoo MI is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Kalamazoo MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Kalamazoo MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Kalamazoo MI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Kalamazoo MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Kalamazoo MI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Kalamazoo MIWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kalamazoo MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kalamazoo MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Kalamazoo MI physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kalamazoo MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Kalamazoo MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Kalamazoo healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Kalamazoo MI home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kalamazoo MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kalamazoo Michigan?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kalamazoo MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo /ˌkæləməˈzuː/ is a city in the southwest region of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Kalamazoo County. As of the 2010 census, Kalamazoo had a population of 74,262. Kalamazoo is the major city of the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 335,340 as of 2015.[6] Kalamazoo is equidistant from the major American cities of Chicago and Detroit, each less than 150 miles away.

One of Kalamazoo's most notable features is the Kalamazoo Mall, an outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. The city created the mall in 1959 by closing part of Burdick Street to auto traffic, although two of the mall's four blocks have been reopened to auto traffic since 1999.[7][8] Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University, a large public university, Kalamazoo College, a private liberal arts college, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a two-year community college.

Originally known as Bronson (after founder Titus Bronson) in the township of Arcadia, the names of both the city and the township were changed to "Kalamazoo" in 1836 and 1837, respectively.[9] The Kalamazoo name comes from a Potawatomi word, first found in a British report in 1772. However, the Kalamazoo River, which passes through the modern city of Kalamazoo, was located on the route between Detroit and Fort Saint-Joseph (nowadays Niles, Michigan). French-Canadian traders, missionaries, and military personnel were quite familiar with this area during the French era and thereafter. The name for the Kalamazoo River was then known by Canadians and French as La rivière Kikanamaso. The name "Kikanamaso" was also recorded by Father Pierre Potier, a Jesuit missionary for the Huron-Wendats at the Assumption mission (south shore of Detroit), while en route to Fort Saint-Joseph during the fall of 1760.[10] Legend has it that "Ki-ka-ma-sung," meaning "boiling water," referring to a footrace held each fall by local Native Americans, who had to run to the river and back before the pot boiled.[11] Still another theory is that it means "the mirage or reflecting river."[12] Another legend is that the image of "boiling water" referred to fog on the river as seen from the hills above the current downtown. The name was also given to the river that flows almost all the way across the state.

Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Kalamazoo MI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Kalamazoo MI.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Michigan

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 12

    Physical Therapy One
    3 Reviews
    Physical Therapy
    Phone:
    3282 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

    Auro Physical Therapy
    2 Reviews
    Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy
    Phone:
    7900 Owen Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

    NovaCare Rehabilitation
    1 Reviews
    Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Center
    Phone:
    6565 W Main St, Ste 101, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

    Donnell Chiropractic
    11 Reviews
    Chiropractors
    Phone:
    2314 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

    Rehab Specialists
    2 Reviews
    Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Center, Orthopedists
    Phone:
    1908 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024

    Core Balance Physical & Vestibular Therapy
    1 Reviews
    Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Center
    Phone:
    2026 Parkview Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

    Bronson Orthopedics & Joint Specialists
    2 Reviews
    Physical Therapy, Orthopedists, Sports Medicine
    Phone:
    601 John St, Ste M-230, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

    Creekside Wellness Center
    7 Reviews
    Skin Care, Massage Therapy, Saunas
    Phone:
    1125 E Milham, Portage, MI 49002

    Fuji Therapeutic Massage
    7 Reviews
    Massage Therapy
    Phone:
    6545 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

    Southern Michigan Pain Consultants
    1 Reviews
    Pain Management, Osteopathic Physicians, Physical Therapy
    Phone:
    3770 Glenkerry Ct, Portage, MI 49024

     

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